Glenmary priest, Fr. Larry Goulding passed away Saturday night at the age of 81. Larry joined Glenmary after his service in the U.S. Marines, which took him to Korea, where he served over 50 years in the Home Missions. Just as he was a dedicated soldier in the service he was also a dedicated missioner. Up until about a year ago, at age 80, Larry was still serving as sacramental minister in two of Glenmary's missions in Eastern, KY. Larry's age and sickness may have slowed him a little in recent years but he continued to share his love of God and his talents with all the people he served. He was always a joy to be around and even walked the last days of his journey on earth valiantly. He knew that he was nearing his death and openly shared that news positively and hopeful to what the next world would bring. While cutting his hair a few weeks ago I told him I was still a novice barber and he replied, "ain't nobody gonna see it where I am going so it doesn't matter what it looks like to me."
Larry was always known for his colorful expressions he is quoted as saying "Whenever and wherever I encounter another person, I imagine that I disappear and Christ appears. I feel this very strongly when I am in front of the people at Sunday Mass. However, this does not work with traffic cops." The quote of his that I recall most often is "We've tried everything else, we might as well pray." So often this is true in all our lives, we are too busy looking for a solution to our problem or a loophole in life that we forget that the one way we can all get through this world and make it to the other side... Just a little more prayer in life is all that we really need.
Last week I went to visit Larry on Veterans Day and noticed a sign where he was staying which had the words of Jose Narosky: "In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." Fr. Larry was a soldier and a peacemaker. Let us continue to pray for all our veterans, those who are serving in harms way and for all the peacemakers in the world like Fr. Larry.